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Discussion Starter #1
Just got my 02 Odyssey EXL-RES today and overall its great!! But, maybe its my imagination but the new one doesnt seem to handle as crisply as my 99 Ody EX. The steering on the new one seems less communicative and direct and overall it feels softer. I know Honda made some suspensison tweaks to improve the ride but did they have to take some of the "sport" (if possible in a minivan!) away? Am I hallucinating or have others experienced the same?

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"steering on the new one seems less communicative and direct and overall it feels softer" I think you are right on.
The sway bar is thinner on the 2002. "60" aspect ratio tires should handle better and have less self centering action than "65" tires.
Never drove a older Ody. I can only compare to other cars including a Chrysler minivan, an old Honda, and an old Ford. Compared to those, my 2002's steering feels dead and rubbery, less communicative and direct than old cars. The Ody needs more attention to keep it going straight.
 

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I think you're right, also. However, it does have a noticeably, to me, more forgiving ride. The expansion joints aren't as harsh on the '02 as compared to my'00.
 

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Ride and handling are always trade-offs. I, personally, would rather have a "hooked-to-the-road" van and sacrifice some ride. If you had a DC minivan, you were spoiled by the steering and the Honda will not feel "right" for a while. I still miss the more positive turn-in response of my DC and find more freeway wander, which translates to a vagueness on-center. Over-all, the Odyssey is a very secure handler, but it requires a little more attention (not a bad thing, really) than some.

Jerry O.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
02 Odyssey handling

Glad to hear we've got some agreement on '02 Odyssey handling/steering feel. It seems like good cars/vans always get "dumbed down" a bit to make them more acceptable to more (non-enthusiast) drivers. The more I drive the '02 the more I'm noticing the drop off in handling precision compared to my 99 Ody although still not really bad by any means. Perish the thought, but it feels more like a Grand Caravan (heaven help me!!). I sure hope it doesnt go through transmissions like one.
 

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Our '02 NAVI handles and rides great. We drove a '99 EX until a couple weeks ago. My wife (not a car enthusiast by any means) commented on the lighter, easier handling compared to the '99. Not that we feel that there is a problem with that van's handling. To me the '02 feels quicker and nimbler, more like a car than even the previous one. I feel very safe in it, especially in bad weather.
 
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